Elizabeth Pate

Elizabeth Pate


Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching

Office: MB 2.310

Telephone: 210.458.7442

Email: elizabeth.pate@utsa.edu


P. Elizabeth Pate is a Professor in and Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Her teaching interests include middle level education and curriculum and instruction. Dr. Pate’s research agenda is framed by systems thinking and focuses on service-learning/community-based research, the Conceptual Framework of Teaching Practice, democratic education, and STEM curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Her leadership roles have included Department Chair of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching at The University of Texas at San Antonio (2007-2010); co-director of UTSA’s  GE2MS Program, Generating Educational Excellence in Mathematics and Science; co-editor for Voices from the Middle for The National Council of Teachers of English; membership on the Research Advisory Board for the National Middle School Association (2006-2008); and, President, President-elect, Program Chair and Vice-President, and Treasurer of the Middle Level Education Research Special Interest Group (MLER) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She is the recipient of the Regents Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Texas System (2012), University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award (2006) and the President’s Distinguished Achievement Award in recognition of Teaching Excellence (2006) at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Pate received the Richard B. Russell Undergraduate Teaching Award (1999) and the Walter B. Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach (2001) at The University of Georgia; and, was selected one of ten finalists for the national Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning (2000).


The central theme of my research agenda is academic excellence. Academic excellence represents an accumulation of high standards, rigorous learning, and meaningful work across time. Central to academic excellence is systems thinking— a theoretical perspective for learning about and understanding how groups of interrelated components form complex wholes. Systems thinking focuses on the study of how one component interacts with another component of the system—a set of elements that interact to produce behavior—of which it is a part. Instead of isolating smaller and smaller parts of the system being studied, systems thinking works by expanding its view to take into account larger and larger numbers of interactions as an issue is being studied (Aronson, 1998). My research focus areas include: • Service-Learning/Community-Based Research-ways in which students, teachers, faculty, community members engage in collaborative and reciprocal activities focused on addressing or solving community issues and needs; • Conceptual Framework of Teaching Practice- ways in which groups of interrelated components (Teacher, Student, Classroom/School/Community, Content/Standards, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment) form the complex whole; • Democratic Education- ways in which students, teachers, and faculty negotiate collaborative decision-making; • STEM Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment- ways in which science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curriculum, instruction, and assessment enrich and inform each other; and, • The interaction of Service-Learning/Community-Based Research, Conceptual Framework of Teaching Practice, Democratic Education, and STEM Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in pursuit of academic excellence.

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Upcoming Events

La Plaza De Lectura Summer Reading Camp

June 13-30, 2016

TIME: 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

LOC: Downtown Campus

BLDG: Buena Vista Building 3.350 (La Plaza de Lectura)

2016 MAS Social Studies Teachers’ Academy

June 20-24, 2016

TIME: All Day

LOC: Institute of Texan Cultures

BLDG: 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., San Antonio, Texas 78207

Summer Bridging Institute 2016

July 11-15, 2016

TIME: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

LOC: Downtown Campus


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